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  • Hello. Welcome to my blog!

    Please check out our new fine art photography and graphic design business! www.paulandjewel.com

    This blog is no longer active but it is a great chronicle through my initial first few years as a photographer. The blog started while I was at photography school in Massachusetts, covers my time working in Florida and Georgia, and chronicles our recent 6 month adventure working with orphans in Thailand. Thanks for visiting!

Category Archives: Photo & Business

6 months in Thailand + exciting next steps in America

Paul and I have been back in America for two weeks and we’re already missing our dear young friends from The Home of Joy like crazy. Its pretty difficult to paraphrase 6 full months of living and working in Thailand. It changed us.

Through the highs, lows, communication barriers, laughter and tears we connected with some truly incredible young people. The children taught us how to live more in the beauty of the present moment. They taught us to really appreciate the simple joys in life every day. We acquired a new sense of gratitude. We saw the horrible dangers of apathy.

140 children found their way into our hearts and helped to strengthen our faith, our love for one another and our commitment to a life together full of service. I’m so glad that we were able to spend our first months of marriage having this experience. More photographs to come.

What are our next steps? For the next few weeks we’ll be visiting with some of our much-missed friends and family across the U.S. and re-adjusting to the Western world. Then, for the next couple of months, we’ll be in Oregon working hard on all of our new business plans and materials. In a few months we plan to move to the Santa Barbara area to plant roots and start a new photography and design company together! We will never forget our friends in Thailand and hope to return for a visit someday. They will always inspire us. I hope you enjoy seeing some of their beautiful faces in these portraits that I made! Love and peace.

Orphanage Photo Class Progress – Our Thailand Home

Paul and I decided to spend 6 months in Thailand to help the Baan Unrak Children’s Home in any way that we could. Since October, we’ve been involved in lots of different projects and tasks here (with varying success) like relief work, sponsorships, fundraising, communications, IT, video-making, teaching, social media, art projects, supervising, etc. But planning and teaching our own Teen Art-Photography Class has really been what makes my heart sing (besides making the little ones giggle, of course). When you’re passionate about something, its such an amazing feeling to be able to share that joy.

After receiving enough used cameras and supplies from several generous sponsors a month ago (thank you, again!), we started the class. We will be teaching it for two more months before we need to leave. The group of 12 students meets twice a week. During the week we meet for an hour and a half for a lesson in the library, and on Sundays we go out for a three or four hours on field trips in the area. The students have trance-like concentration and their faces often light up so beautifully with joy and pride throughout our sessions.

Below are some photos I took of the teens during our past couple of field trips, but what you should really see is their own stunning work on the Baan Unrak facebook page. We have also started an etsy page for them to sell their very best art prints, profits going directly to funds for the young photographers. We hope that you enjoy their work and that you will help spread the word about their etsy shop. Love and peace!

this is us! our own engagement portrait experience

Since I am a wedding photographer and I’m getting married next month (!) people have been asking me, “Now, who is photographing your wedding?” Each time, I’m delighted to reply that Paul and I hired Savannah fine-art photographers Jade and Matthew Take Pictures for our little Oregon Coast wedding. Earlier this month they created some engagement portraits for us with styling by the lovely Jessie Matz. Check out more of the portraits HERE on their blog!

Since we’re moving away from Savannah next week (info in my previous post) these images will always be treasured reminders for us of our engagement and our time spent living in the South. I feel like they were able to borrow a little bit of our love and a bit of the South and put it in these images for us to cherish forever. When I look at these photographs now I feel how much my (very handsome) fiance loves me and am even more excited to be his bride and his wife!

Jade and Matthew’s work has long inspired me. I’m attracted to the fun, whimsy, and lightness in their photographic style. Their skill and artistry are undeniable, but perhaps even more importantly Jade and Matthew are passionate about their work and have calm, open, fun-loving personalities. The idea of being in front of the camera was strange for us (as I know it is for most people) but we were set at ease and comfortable with them which is so very important. As a bride to be I’m thrilled, awed, and excited! As an extra plus, I know that this whole experience on the other side of the lens will help me grow as a photographer and gain a deeper understanding of my own clients in the future.

 

Click HERE to see more of our portraits on the Jade and Matthew Take Pictures blog!

BIG news: leaving Savannah + living in Thailand

I try to live my life in faith, constantly open to change, love, inspiration and adventure. After falling in love and becoming engaged, it seems like I’m about to swim in a full-on tsunami of all of those beautiful things. As you probably know, I am marrying my best friend and the love of my life this summer! You may not know that soon we will be leaving Savannah, driving cross country, and living in Thailand!

In about a month we will pack a Uhaul trailer with all of our things, attach it to the Volvo, and begin our west-bound 3,000+ mile trip. In exactly 2 months Paul and I will be married on the Oregon Coast! In about 3 months, we leave for Thailand to spend at least 6 months volunteering at an orphanage! When we return to the states, our plan is to settle down and grow roots in a new place (Portland, Seattle, Hawaii?) and create a photography & design business together. Of course, dream chasing is never without difficulties. I’m pretty much terrified but I can hardly wait for these adventures and more. We’re determined to make the world a little happier together.

Our hearts will ache to leave Savannah but luckily we won’t have time to miss it too much. We are both so grateful to have found some truly incredible communities and life-long friends here. I am also grateful to all of my wonderful Savannah colleagues and clients; you are amazing. We will continue to photograph, blog, and share our experiences and hope that you will come along for the ride! Love and peace.

photoshop world + lately

I spent this past week at the Photoshop World conference in Orlando. It was 3 full days jam packed with different imaging classes! I drove down from Savannah and picked up my dad from the airport so we could attend together (he is a photographer and digital artist). It was the largest conference I’d ever been to. Contrary to the conference name, I didn’t take any actual Photoshop classes! Most of the classes that I chose were on Adobe Lightroom software and photography/lighting technique. I took classes with fabulous instructors such as Kelby, Concepcion, Ziser, McNally, Kost, Mautner, and Caponigro. I was able to hear Jeremy Cowart speak and meet him afterward. His projects have inspired me and impacted me over the past couple of years, so that was a major highlight! Though it was a positive experience, I don’t think I will attend PSW again simply because I’ve gotten to a point where there are very specific things I know I want to learn and improve in my work and business. So, I think more specialized classes and modes of learning will generally be best for me as I go forward in continuing my education. Below are a few pictures that I grabbed in the expo center between classes!

I’ve been a busy lady lately with this trip and 2nd shooting the past two Saturdays! Will post recent work soon. Love and peace!

Fashion inspired by Photoshop tools.

An attendee playing with some heavy duty equipment.

toys!

Westcott had some beautiful models and sets up to demonstrate their lighting products. She looked my way for a second and I grabbed this shot.

sunshine and knowledge

These photos are from a recent visit to a local bamboo farm. I hope these photos make you feel warm and happy, especially those of you in parts of the world where Spring has not yet sprung.

Besides working in Savannah, I’ll be putting more miles on my Volvo this month while traveling to Atlanta, Charleston, and Orlando. I’m attending the The Power of Passion Tour in Atlanta with internationally respected photographers Sandy Puc and Jerry Ghionis. I will also be shooting in Charleston and attending a 3-day conference in Orlando. I think that continuing education is absolutely crucial to the success of creative professionals, including photographers. In this industry technology and trends change very quickly and we need to be experts. Excellence is a constant journey.

Haiti Trip Canceled – Winter in Downtown Savannah

Well, I didn’t expect to be posting on the blog today. I had planned to be in Haiti this week doing service work and taking photographs with The Lazarus Project. Sadly the trip was canceled. Because of the political unrest and rioting caused by the recent Haitian elections the State Department requested airlines to cancel flights into the country. This was disappointing news to hear, but I have faith that I’ll still be able to go in the future and will continue to do what I can from afar. The upside to all of this is that I have some unexpected time here in Savannah. I’m looking forward to admiring the beauty of each present moment and squeezing in some last-minute Portrait Sessions this week!

After hearing the news of the cancelation, instead of packing on Sunday afternoon Paul and I walked around downtown Savannah with our cameras as I gave him another photography lesson. It’s become one of our favorite things to do! For one of the photos (3rd from last) I set my camera flat on the ground to get a different angle, an idea that one of my mentors (Teresa Earnest) suggested that I try sometime. The live-view function on the MKII makes this technique really fun and I’m definitely going to experiment with it more. Here are some of my photos from the afternoon, all using the 100mm lens. I hope you enjoy these!

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New Jewel Imaging Office-Studio in Savannah!

I have some VERY exciting news to share! I have a new office-studio space in the Savannah Wedding Studios ! It will be perfect for meeting with Jewel Imaging clients, day-to-day computer work, editing, retouching, printing, as well as some smaller scale Jewel Imaging photo shoots! The beautiful window light and hardwood floors will be lovely for newborn/baby sessions! If any friends or clients would like to stop by, just let me know!

In November I started interning with the fabulous Teresa Earnest of Memories ‘N More Photography who founded the Wedding Studio. It has been an invaluable learning experience so far. In exchange for my time and continued assisting work she has graciously allowed me to adopt one of the Studio rooms as my new workspace! I just moved in most of my office things this week and have already been absolutely LOVING the space. There are several studio spaces in the building currently occupied by A to Zinias florists, Two Cakes, and Cape Creations Catering as well as Teresa and me.

Below are some photos leading into the Wedding Studio and my office. I may bring my big monitor over and will get lots of photo prints up soon. I haven’t been blogging as much as usual because of all of these happenings, but I have a lot of new work to share so I’ll be posting again soon.

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Oh, and me at my desk! Photobooth snap.

Photo 24

Below are some photographs I took for a current Savannah Wedding Studios giveaway! See the link for info on how to win this Savannah-themed gift set.

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